Acupuncture, Fertility and Insemination

April 13, 2016

Acupuncture, Fertility and Insemination

In recent years studies have increased that present data that is in favor of acupuncture in improving male and female fertility. Several studies on the treatment of male infertility with acupuncture have given results at times even surprising on the number and quality of sperm (Siterman et al., 2000, Pei et al., 2005): the electro-acupuncture application in four specific points for ten sessions significantly increases sperm motility. Instead, in women, the electro-acupuncture seems to lead to increased levels of HLA-G antigen in the blood, associated with a higher probability of carrying a pregnancy to a successful conclusion.

According to reports from “Healthcare Medicine Institute,” currently there would be a consensus among specialists on acupuncture points associated with infertility problems and those upon which to act before (SP8, SP10, liv3, ST29, CV4) and after (GV20, K3, SP6, P6, K3) embryo transfer.

The most interesting results come from research on assisted fertilization techniques. Recently a critical re-evaluation of studies using acupuncture to increase the success of in vitro fertilization has been published in the British Medical Journal in the form of meta-analysis. From an analysis of the work conducted on 1366 women clinically relevant and significant results have emerged for acupuncture in all the endpoints that were studied. In particular the use of acupuncture in combination with assisted reproductive technology has been proven to significantly increase:

·      the onset of a pregnancy,

·      the progress of pregnancy,

·      the birth of live children.

The authors conclude that, overall, the complementation of embryo transfer with acupuncture significantly improves the outcome of in vitro fertilization with a ratio of 1 to 6 and a number needed to treat of 10 (Manheimer et al., 2008). Practically speaking this means that those who undergo a series of sessions of acupuncture during assisted fertilization process (and in particular with one or more sessions in the immediate proximity of embryo transfer) has a 60% probability more of bringing successfully a pregnancy to term than those who do not do the treatment. Additionally the number needed to treat of 10 (an absolutely flattering parameter for any medical treatment in this field) indicates that it is possible to estimate that every 10 women treated with acupuncture in conjunction with IVF, there is a birth that would not have occurred without acupuncture.